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25 July, 2009

by The Wandering Wastrel

I had got into the habit of re-using my paper coffee cups so they would not go to waste after just one use, as I discovered you can get up to five uses out of them, throwing them away after one use seemed to me unethical and silly.
I started to really like the feel of the smooth and warm, lidded cardboard cylinder in my hand. I really liked drinking through the tiny hole in the top of the lid which seemed to me to be created by some sort of Super Genius to deliver the exact amount of liquid at the exact speed needed to imbibe* the hot and healing fluid in a safe and efficient fashion.
I commented to a friend, ” Man, It’d be cool to have hundreds of paper coffee cups so I could always drink from a paper coffee cup and never have to drink from heavy, cold and uncomfortably wide mouthed porcelain cups again.”
Then the very NEXT DAY…
I happened into possession of two plastic wrapped towers of 100 Starbucks cups. The cups were on their way to the dumpster as the outer plastic bags they were in were slightly damaged.
The friend who had a sympathetic ear to my paper cup dearth*, had come through with the goods, having seen the cups and remembering my harsh 3:00 a.m. speeches on my militant viewpoint of the glories of recycling he could not witness such a waste and thus sequestered* them for my own home use.
Yet I needed lids. They really are not any good without lids. The lid seals the cylindrical structure that is the coffee cup and keeps the heat of the fluid within its protective paper shielding.
My wife and I were driving along in our Dodge minivan, placing Freedom magazines
( ) in strategic locations about town. One of the places we visited was an organic coffee shop- one of the outposts for intellectual freedom in Sacramento. As I exited the shop -my intensive counterstrike against the scam of psychiatry delivered, I spied many many lids ( on their single use cups ) in a trash can outside.
A strange almost inexplicable super hero like transformation took place and almost instantaneously I was The Post Grunge Drifter once more.
I became focused on the bounty of the much needed lids within the garbage receptacle.
I hunched my shoulders put my hood on and reactivated “The Shield .”
The Shield is a powerful force screen that deflects all and every degrading comment or horrified look from anyone who sees you rummaging in a dumpster for food- or in this case for lids in a bin outside the window of a coffee shop.
The shield was a bit dusty having not been used ( to the credit of my increased attention to my own financial planning ) since the great Dumpster Feeds Summer of 2000 but to my joy was still fully operational.
Not unlike a bear fishing for salmon on the rocky shore of a river in the wilderness of British Columbia, my hand shot into the bin liberating five good lids within seconds.
I stashed them in my hoody pocket and jogged to the van, deactivating the shield as I went.
When I got home, I cleaned them thoroughly in boiling water and enjoyed a cup of coffee.
Coffee I get free from my man on the inside of Starbucks in exchange for telling him stories.
Stories like this one.
Imbibe : To drink.
Dearth : A scarce supply; a lack.
Sequester : To take possession of enemy property.